July 21, 2008

Tel: 612-245-4871

web: http://starbucksunion.org/ http://iww.org

email: tcsbuxunion@gmail.com

Mall of America Starbucks Baristas Go Union

Baristas join IWW, Demand Fair Severance for Baristas at Closing Stores, Living Wage, Guaranteed Hours, Dignity and Respect

July 21- At 10am, baristas at the Mall of America I Starbucks donned red-and-black union pins and walked off the floor to present their manager with a demand letter. They announced their membership in the Industrial Workers of the World labor union

The decision to join a union comes in the wake of the coffee giant’s announcement that it will close 600 stores, including 27 in Minnesota. Union Baristas demanded a fair severance package for affected workers. Starbucks plans to give workers one
month notice before laying them off and will be paying a variable severance package of two weeks’ pay or less.

Union baristas working at stores remaining open, such as the Mall of America,
demand a living wage, annual cost-of-living increases, guaranteed hours, health and safety improvements, and dignity and respect.

While portraying itself as a ‘socially-responsible’ employer, Starbucks pays baristas a poverty wage of $7.60/hr. In addition, every single retail hourly worker at Starbucks in the United States is a part-time employee with no guarantee of any number of work hours per week. According to a Wall Street Journal report, 42% of its employees (including managers) are covered by the company health care package, a lower percentage than Wal-Mart, which ensures 47% of its workforce.

The Mall of America Starbucks is the first Starbucks in Minnesota, and the first store in the Mall of America, to have a public union presence. Baristas at stores in New York, Chicago, Grand Rapids, and other cities have joined the Industrial Workers of the World since the campaign began on May 17, 2004, despite the anti-union
campaign on the part of Starbucks. Union baristas, bussers, and shift supervisors have fought successfully for improved scheduling and staffing levels, increased wages, and workplace safety.